(This article is a 7-minute read)
THREE THINGS YOU’LL GET FROM THIS ARTICLE
1. Why you should make veterinary content worth keeping
2. How to make content worth keeping
3. What tools you need to use to grow your business with this content
Who is your market? It’s a basic question you need to be able to answer if you want to create veterinary content worth keeping. If you answer, ‘pet owners who live in my catchment area’, then you don't have a market. You have an address.
If you want to use good quality content to connect with people near your clinic, you need to know more about those people.
Cat owners, for example, have different needs to dog owners or to goldfish owners. But if you send out generic promotional material or generic information to those groups, then you risk people thinking, This information isn't for me, and ignoring it.
Content for everyone is content for no-one
I was recently speaking to a vet who was targeting two distinct and different markets. One of the problems he had was whenever he sent out an email to his customer database, he got very large numbers of unsubscribes. This was happening because a percentage of one group thought that the email was for the other group at any given time. If the content didn’t directly address their specific problems, they thought, This is just general information that I don't need.
It was hard enough for this bloke to carve out the time each month to send one newsletter. Sending two, and creating enough content to fill them both, was unrealistic.
If you're in that situation yourself, you're always going to have a problem connecting with people. But there are solutions to it and ways of thinking about creating vet content that you'll find far more effective than creating something generic. Content for everyone is content for no-one.
Why bother creating veterinary content worth keeping?
The two reasons you create content in the first place are to;
Connect with potential clients, and
Get those people's permission to keep connecting with them.
There are many veterinary clinics that have that process set up already on their websites. They generally ask people to sign up to their practise newsletter.
That's a cheap transaction, from the point of view of a customer. All they have to do is give an email address and then they can decide whether or not to pay attention to that email later on.
There's only so much information you as a business owner can glean from someone signing up to one of your newsletters. The only thing you can confidently say is that they are potentially interested in your products and services.
Somebody who signs up to an email newsletter, therefore, would be accurately described as a prospect rather than a lead.
Moving from prospect to lead to customer
You need to know a lot more about someone before you can move them from being a prospect to a customer. What sort of information? you may ask.
It sounds like a glib answer to say, ‘Information they are interested in’. But it’s not a glib answer at all. If someone is interested in information about cats, that tells you a lot. It tells you they’re probably not a dog owner, for starters.
The easiest way to get that extra information is to create some kind of content that's only available to people if they give you some extra details. You store those details in your marketing database along with their name and email address.
This is how it works in practise. A person signs up to receive your newsletter by giving you their first name and their email address. In your next email to them, you have a call-to-action offering some piece of downloadable content.
That content might be, ‘A veterinarian’s guide to what you should be feeding your cat from kitten to old age’. Rather than offer all of that content on a web page for anyone to access, create a form for them to fill out which also asks for the pet’s age, and if appropriate, breed. It’s a very reasonable question, and by answering it, the prospect knows they’re getting specific advice.
There are lots of different plug ins and apps that let the form ‘recognise’ someone who is already on your database, and pre-fill some details.
One of the more popular ones is the HubSpot Free CRM Database, which you can find by Googling 'HubSpot Free CRM Database.' That software will do is help you organise that information in an easy way, so you can keep it separate from your patient files, but you can keep the information in a database and then create lists of people who fit certain criteria.
Making a list, checking it twice
You can have a separate list for cat owners, for dog owners, for goldfish owners, and anyone else. You can also break down those lists according to the age of the animal. Content that's specific to a type of animal is the content that a potential customer will find worth keeping.
If that content's useful to a prospect, then that starts that process of them learning to know, like, and trust you.
Unlike your blog posts, which you update regularly, you can promote this one piece of content over and over again. You might promote it in every edition of your email newsletter, and by boosting some posts on social media. It may be worth buying some Google AdWords that draw people to a landing page where they can download the content after giving you their information.
Because unlike blog content, which is used to drive interest from people who don’t know you well, this is content you use to learn about your potential customers. That alone makes it worth the investment in promotion.
By creating very, very specific targeted information to the situations and the problems that individuals have, you'll find you'll get not only a lot better response, but also you'll build up that process of get people getting to know, like and trust you, which will make them become regular clients of your veterinary clinic.